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1-3-12 rule

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The 1-3-12 Rule is a scope management principle, originally used within the accountancy firm MAP, and then coined by GoProposal to manage scope creep. It is a simple method designed to recalibrate what the client pays for payroll every 1 month, for bookkeeping services every 3 months and for everything else every 12 months, as their circumstances and needs change.[1]


The 1-3-12 Rule is a fair principle that prevents the client being issued with unexpected bills at the end of the year for additional services rendered or the accountant being underpaid for those services services. The term was inspired by air navigation’s 1 in 60 rule which states that if a pilot is 1° out for 60 miles, then they will be 1 mile off course.[2]


  1. Ashford, James (2016). Selling to Serve: Give more value to your clients and get them buying more from you. Manchester: GoProposal. ISBN 9781539857945.
  2. "The 1-3-12 Method for Fee Reviews: End Scope Creep for Accountancy Firms and Bookkeeping Practices". LinkedIn. 25 Nov 2018. Retrieved 7 Mar 2019.

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